COVID-19: Netherlands Suspends Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

 

 

The Netherlands has become the latest country to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.

The Dutch government said the move, which will last until at least 29 March, was a precaution.

In a statement, the Dutch government said it was acting out of precaution following reports from Denmark and Norway of possible serious side effects.

“We can’t allow any doubts about the vaccine,” Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.

“We have to make sure everything is right, so it is wise to pause for now.”

The Republic of Ireland earlier made a similar decision over reports of blood clotting in recipients in Norway.

The announcements by the Netherlands and Ireland followed similar moves by Denmark, Norway, Bulgaria, Iceland and Thailand.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) – which is currently carrying out a review into incidents of blood clots – says the vaccine’s benefits continue to outweigh its risks.

The UK medicines regulator said evidence “does not suggest” the jab causes clots, as it urged people in the country to get the vaccine when asked to do so.

About 17 million people in the European Union and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with less than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.